Did you know that Mitochondrial Disease claims more lives than childhood cancer? It’s true, yet so few people are aware of it because Mitochondrial Disease is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood.
Four-year-old Sarah Landrigan is a happy, vibrant little girl who is just like any other child, except Sarah was born with Mitochondrial Disease. Sarah’s body is unable to convert food and oxygen into energy efficiently, which causes a life-threatening deficit. This incurable disease is responsible for Sarah’s seizures, severe muscle weakness, swallowing disorder, ketotic hypoglycemia, feeding tube dependence and many other symptoms.
Mitochondrial Disease has caused Sarah to be hospitalized over 60 times and has caused her to endure countless surgeries and procedures, yet Sarah always has a smile on her face! She is brave and strong, and she always has a positive outlook. Even though Sarah’s four years of living have been gravely affected by the disabling disease, she always remains full of life, love and laughter. Because of her joyful spirit and contagious smile, Sarah’s friends and family were inspired to create “Sarah’s sMILES”- a fundraising organization whose mission is to increase awareness of the disease and to raise money for research.
This Saturday, June 15, Sarah’s sMILES is hosting Sarah’s Walk. Everyone is invited to partner with Sarah’s friends, family and community members as they raise awareness of this incurable disease. Take a few laps around the beautiful Central Park to show your support for Sarah’s battle with Mitochondrial Disease. It’s free and it’s for a great cause.
Meet Inky the Clown as he creates balloon animals, and have the kids get their faces painted, too! Hot dogs, chips, drinks and cotton candy will also be for sale, so plan to come for lunch. Check out “Handmade by Brittany Stump”- unique and creative jewelry specifically designed for Sarah’s cause. Custom orders are also accepted, with proceeds benefiting Sarah’s sMILES.
Immediately following Sarah’s Walk, Penguin Point is hosting a Footlong Spanish Dog eating contest. The top three eaters will receive gift cards. Entries are still being accepted. The entry fee is just $10, and all proceeds go to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.